Unable to compile to KF8 .mobi

It crashes every time, regardless of what file or format I try to use.
Interestingly, compiling to the older .mobi format does seem to work, and while I’m sure it is different, it does not appear to be.

Also interesting: I was able to send an epub to my Kindle. That I found shocking. Never would have expected that to work. Yet while the file was there and readable, the formatting was all bunged up.

Here is what I’ve done to try to alleviate this problem:
—Updated Kindle Previewer
—Trashed Kindlegen, which was apparently 7 years old.

But of course, this did not fix anything.

M1 MacBook Pro, v11.3, Scrivener v3.22

Amazon is deprecating the .mobi format and now recommends ePub instead.

Is Scrivener crashing, or Kindle Previewer? What happens if you compile to ePub and open the result in Kindle Previewer?


Yes, they’re finally relenting. 14 years too late, but what the hey.

I think ‘crash’ is likely too broad a term. The dialog says ‘Kindlegen failed to create a .mobi file …’

It seems that Scrivener tries it’s best to compile, and Kindlegen won’t be having any of that. Scrivener itself does not ‘crash’, in that it continues to run normally. So it’s some sort of incompatibility. And there is apparently something in KF8 that causes this, since the older .mobi format works as it should.

I think Kindle Previewer has Kindlegen bundled inside it now? This may be the point where this problem first occurred, is when the new Kindlegen became resident there. Kindle Previewer itself gets no opportunity to even open before an apparent exception is thrown, though I assume the compiling does call Kindlegen from there.

Compiling to epub does work. Yet the formatting is screwed up royally.

Ironic that Kindles can handle a large variety of formats, yet it seemingly can’t handle the last proprietary version they created for it, at least through Scrivener compiling.

Please open a support ticket, here:

This sounds like it may be something specific to your project, so we’ll need to dig into more detail than we can do through the forum.


Hello, I’m having the same issue here, so would like to be kept in the loop. (I’m using the most recent Scrivener version.) Thanks.

All it needs is an installation in the expected location, and you’ll know it is has found it if you can compile (if it cannot find anything you’ll get a message in the compiler and won’t be able to compile at all). It won’t actually launch Kindle Previewer, it only needs to use the embedded copy of KindleGen that gets installed within it. So what you describe would be expected—excepting of course it should be working.

To that end, make sure you have the option enabled to output a log file, in the General Options tab of the compiler, on the right-hand side. With that you should get a .log file even if it fails to create a .mobi, and may provide more insight into what is going wrong.

That’s interesting, it does mean that it is finding and running KindleGen fine, so the problem is thus more likely to be content related.